A piece in the puzzle
Draw near to God and God will draw near to you.
I enjoy the challenge of a Word Scramble. You know, those word puzzles where the letters to a word are scrambled on the page. The word reads gibberish. Take for example: TIHFA. To solve this “scramble” I have to believe a real word can be made from the scramble of letters and the puzzle is ultimately solvable. Then, I have to commit to moving the letters around for as long as it takes to discover that the real word is: FAITH. This “game” is a perfect metaphor for my spiritual journey. The “letters” that spell a deep faith are within me. They get scrambled when I face the death of a dear friend, or watch the fires ravage Australia, or I am over-exposed to the vitriol on TV, or experience genuine worry for the people I love. Nothing makes sense. My faith feels like gibberish inside me. Will I throw in the towel, lose myself to cynicism and utter despair? Or can I commit to unscrambling my doubts and fears to rediscover the word of faith in me. We will spend our lifetimes working the puzzle of our faith. Over and over, we must move the letters around to solve the puzzle of who God is, who we are in relation to God, and what it is we are here to do.
What are some strategies to help me unscramble? First, I reach out to God. A familiar prayer for me is: “Dear God, I feel lost. Help me. Please reveal Yourself.” Then I wait. At the least, I receive peace knowing the puzzle doesn’t have to be solved alone. I try to help others as they do their own unscrambling of the faith puzzle. In turn, it helps me solve my own. Best solving however is when love happens, in and around me, given and received. Love has this mystical way of putting the letters into their right and redemptive order. My faith restored.
In all the uncertainty
I come to You in search of a new foothold.
How is that I have arrived into Your Holies,
bearing more questions than answers?
You would think I would have a mastery of faith by now
Especially as I have seen the workings of Your grace with my own eyes
And yet, I continue to trip over my flaws
I fight change
I hold on to things too tightly
There are many rooms in my heart where doubts live.
The facts are:
Nothing is ever going to be perfect in the temporal
Nor go exactly as I plan, or deem fair
Even the best of things must come to an end.
My prayers will rarely be answered as I expect, sometimes demand
Because I am short-sighted.
You are fitting the puzzle pieces into place for Eternity
Transforming what breaks my heart, into An Ultimate Good.
You give no assurances how long I get to participate, forty-five years, sixty, ninety-three?
I’ll waste no more of Your time postulating, and get busy taking the beauty into my marrow,
As my bees take nectar into the hive.
I will make of my life something sweet, worthy.
I’ll trim the unnecessary thoughts, relationships, worries that hinder love’s progress
So that all my faculties can be focused on doing what I was made for.
Remarkable how one line of hope can change the trajectory of the human story
Herein lies my work.
I am saved in the saving.
Maybe long after I am gone, when perhaps, we will share the same address,
Or, you will have sent me off on another grand adventure.
It will be said,
“Her puzzle piece mattered.”